You can challenge the decision on your asylum application if:

  • Your application was rejected
  • You were awarded a kind of protection other than refugee status

However, you have a short window of time to appeal — usually just 30 days. If your claim was declared inadmissible, was introduced after expulsion, or rejected as manifestly unfounded, then you have just 15 days to appeal.

Submitting an appeal will entitle you to remain in Italy throughout your procedure. Learn about the permesso di soggiorno for people appealing their asylum decision here:

For people appealing a first negative: Permesso per Attesa Esito Ricorso

Getting a lawyer

You can appeal by presenting a ricorso (judicial plea) to a tribunale civile (civil court). You must be represented by a lawyer.

If you are unable to pay for a lawyer, you have the right to be assigned one free of charge. Learn more:

Your right to legal aid

It is important to give your lawyer all the information you can provide on your case, including all the documents and names of any witnesses that can prove your claim.

Before the court

A panel of 3 judges will examine your case. They will schedule a hearing for your case, possibly in front of one of them. They may also not schedule you a hearing, if they believe they have enough information on your case.

This will only happen if you applied for asylum after August 17, 2017.

How long does it take?

According to the law, the court should decide on your appeal within 4 months of receiving it. However, most asylum cases are pending in courts for 15 months on average – up to 3 year sometimes – failing to meet the 4 months required by law.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in this situation – arm yourself with a lot of patience. In general, the Italian justice system is quite slow due to the backlog.

Second appeal

In general, you cannot challenge the tribunale civile's decision on your appeal.

If you filed your appeal after August 17, 2017, you won’t be able to challenge the way the tribune civile ruled on whether the facts of your case mean you should get international protection. You and your lawyer can challenge only whether the court incorrectly applied Italian law while considering your case.

If you filed your appeal before August 17, 2017, you may be able to appeal the tribunale civile’s decision on whether the facts of your case mean you should get international protection. An old law could apply to your case. Your lawyer can help you understand whether this is possible in your case.

Third appeal

If you appeal to the tribune civile and get a negative decision, you and your lawyer can take your case to the Corte Suprema di Cassazione (Supreme Court of Cassation) in Rome. The Corte Suprema di Cassazione is your last resort.

If the Corte Suprema di Cassazione denies your appeal, you will be considered "irregular" in Italy and will receive an expulsion order. Learn more about expulsion orders:

Expulsion order